THROUGH THE SPIRIT
Written and Directed by Moshe Malka
A new show with an ensemble of deaf-blind actors (with dual disability). The government has decided to conduct a scientific study that examines the capabilities of people with disabilities. Are they fit for a job that is not especially optimized for them? Can they integrate into the economy and increase productivity?
During their attempts to join the workforce, we are slowly exposed to the desires, dreams, struggles, and compromises of people with disabilities.
In its new original production, Nalaga’at Theatre reveals the complex processes that occur on stage. It uses an alternative approach that combines visual and physical theatre with circus arts and tactile sign language. This theatrical language puts the deaf-blind in the center and along with their interpreters and seeing-hearing actors, enables them to become a communicative work of art.
Moshe Malka is the creator of “Zitz”, a visual-physical theatre language that breaks the artist’s rational boundaries and enables him to create from the subconscious. Malka is the founder of the Israeli-Ethiopian Hullegeb Theatre Ensemble, and is its current artistic director and writer. He has vast experience as an actor and director in Israeli theaters, receiving many awards for his groundbreaking art, especially in the field of street art.
By Gur Koren, Directed by Gilad Kimhi | Beit Lessin Theatre
A theater group of people with disabilities does not manage to raise the funds it requires to represent Israel at a theater festival for the disabled in Macedonia. Help comes from an unlikely quarter in the form of a crime family with drug smuggling interests that has to ship an especially large consignment to… Macedonia. The impossible partnership between the criminals and the disabled actors – who are in the middle of rehearsing ״Romeo and Juliet ״ – leads to some zany and absurd situations, with the criminals looking for a way to smuggle the drugs while ‘the disabled’ are convinced that they’ve met the kindest people in the world.
The plot takes an awkward turn when the crime boss’s son falls in love with the beautiful actress playing Juliet. A surprising comedy packed with thrills, imagination, and love of man.
The Disabled received two Israeli Theatre Academy Awards in 2015: Best Comedy of the Year and Gur Koren was nominated as Best Playwright of the Year.
“A surprising, witty, thought-provoking, and exciting play… Gur Koren tells a stage story with sharp and surprising turns between out-and-out farce and touching moments of beauty and poetry…”
“A funny, brilliant, human, and clever play…”
Gur Koren also wrote The Actress (Beit Lessin Theatre), and wrote and acted in Five Kgs of Sugar (Gesher Theater), which participated in the New Writing Festival in London and was staged in Poland. Writing and directing: Shoot in the Head, Sharon Semo the Killer, Me and My Soul, A Play for Family Day, Perjury. Adaptation of the plays: The Morality of Mrs. Dulska, Captains Courageous, The Seagull, Trees Die Standing, The Belgrade Trilogy, The Robbers, The Brothers Karamazov, Today’s a Holiday, The Lower Depths. Directing at drama schools includes: The French Quarter, The Crucible, The Shadow, Stars in the Morning Sky, and others. He also Directed A Winter Wedding by Hanoch Levin, a special project for drama students with people from the Center for the Blind and Vision-impaired.
IT’S NOT ABOUT EBISU
Ebisu Sign Language Theatre Laboratory, Directed by Atay Citron
Ebisu Sign Language Theatre Laboratory is part of the Grammar of the Body (GRAMBY) Research Project led by University of Haifa Linguistics Professor Wendy Sandler. Most of the nine Lab actors are Deaf, and all use Israeli Sign Language (ISL) on a daily basis. We use ISL combined with expressive gestures and physical theatre in order to develop a form of visual theatre that is aimed at both deaf and hearing spectators (with no interpreting during the show). Our work is based on improvisation. We play with the mimetic component of ISL, highlighting facial expressions and body language, and experimenting with gestures that are normally performed and understood by hearing and deaf people alike. The theatrical material we devise is poetic rather than literary, humorous and physical. We draw our inspiration from Deaf Culture and from the work of 20th century theatreexperimentalists who were searching for a theatrical language that does not depend entirely on dialogue and spoken word.
Ebisu is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune in Japanese Shinto belief and the only deaf god in world religions and mythologies.
Our first show, It’s Not About Ebisu, opened in Tel Aviv and Haifa in February 2016 and had a successful New York tour in September. It’s a fantasy about a hero that was born in the forest and raised by animals. As a young man, he sets off on a journey that eventually brings him to the city, where he encounters alienation and violence, confronts the embodiment of evil, and wins over it thanks to special powers given to him by a shaman. The piece was conceived and directed by Atay Citron, in collaboration with the actors.
Atay Citron, director of Ebisu, is associate professor at the Department of Theatre, the University of Haifa, and the Department’s former chair. He is the founding director of the Department’s full-time academic training program for medical clowns. He studied the work of clown doctors, ritual clowns, and shamans around the world. He is a co-editor of Performance Studies in Motion (Bloomsbury, 2014), and served as artistic director of the Bat-Yam International Street Theatre Festival, the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, and the School of Visual Theatre, Jerusalem.